UN calls for $46 billion in humanitarian funding for 2024

The United Nations on Monday issued an appeal for $46 billion in funding for 2024 to address the needs of millions affected by humanitarian crises globally, including in Afghanistan, Gaza, Sudan, and Ukraine.

During an embargoed press conference on Thursday (December 7), U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths stated that nearly 300 million people would require humanitarian assistance next year due to conflicts, climate emergencies, and economic factors.

The five largest single-country appeals are for Syria ($4.4 billion), Ukraine ($3.1 billion), Afghanistan ($3 billion), Ethiopia ($2.9 billion) and Yemen ($2.8 billion).

This includes 74.1 million people in East and Southern Africa, a significant number affected by the crisis in Sudan.

Griffiths explained that other organizations, including the Red Cross and national Red Cross societies, had also made their funding appeals.

“We will target, for our specific needs and the agencies I represent, 181 million of those 300 million people. The difference between the two is not about need but about other organizations, notably the Red Cross and the National Red Cross Societies, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), and others, who issue their own appeals and responses,” he said.

The humanitarian system is grappling with a substantial funding crisis, with just over one-third of the $57 billion required for aid funded last year, according to OCHA’s annual assessment of global humanitarian needs.

Griffiths described this as the “worst funding shortfall in years,” acknowledging the challenge of reducing the appeal for 2024 while ensuring aid agencies remain “realistic, focused, and tough-minded” in assessing needs.